Recently Fiona has started being afraid of things…. as in she says “I’m afraid of that!!!” It seldom stops her but she is figuring out something about ‘fear’.
Yesterday we listened to the song I’m going on a bear hunt by her request. I think she is interested in the fear v I’m not afraid in the song. Later she, in an afraid tone of voice, told me “A bear! I’m afraid of bears!”. I just read a thing that said to never tell your child there is nothing to be afraid of since that invalidates their feeling so I said “Bears are scary, but, they are all hibernating now.” Hibernation was taken as a good reason but without missing a beat she says “Dragons!!!”. I love the natural progression here. I told her that they were also hibernating. Right away she says “Alligators! Snap Snap!”. I tell her alligators only live in warm places – she says “Alligators live in lakes” I say “only in Florida, our lakes are frozen anyway”. I also threw Louisiana out there as a place alligators might be. I followed up with telling her that MN in the winter was so cold the only thing you needed to be afraid of was getting too cold so keep her coat on.
After that she seemed just fine with all her immediate fears eliminated.
Sometimes she is afraid of monsters and here is where it gets tricky. How do I acknowledge her fear without validating the existence of monsters? For Niamh and Zoe I just told them monsters were afraid of house paint and would never go near it. I’m probably going to stick with that because I’ve also read that absolutely ridiculous questions are allowed to have ridiculous answers. I stick pretty close to the truth on things that might have a bearing in their life, but, monsters don’t exists and maybe it is because of our excessive use of house paint….